Students of Kyambogo University on Monday staged a strike to protest the implementation of a new fees structure, which came into force last week.
Under the policy, students are required to pay 50 percent of their entire tuition within the first 6 weeks of each semester and the balance within 10 weeks. The policy also provides for a surcharge of 50 percent for students who fail to pay in time.
According to the policy, students who fail to complete their tuition earn a dead year. The implementation of the policy has not gone down well with students.
On Monday morning, students started a peaceful protest to compel the university management to revert to the old tuition policy. They argued that the new fees policy was unfair and would force many of them out of schools.
Edgar Katusiime, a third year student of Bachelors in Vocational Arts and design told local media that he should have completed in May this year but didn’t because his parents failed to complete his tuition. He says the introduction of the new policy spells more trouble for many students like him.
Martha Imaru, a second year student of Bachelors of Education wants the university to revert to the old policy, where the students would be required to complete their tuition before seating their final examinations.
She explains that many parents are finding it difficult to clear tuition in time because of the hard economic times while some students pay their own tuition.
Agnes Katis, also a second year student of Bachelors of Education wonders what prompted the university to introduce the new policy. She says in addition to being unfair, the new tuition policy is also taxing as students are required to register online and get reference numbers before they go to the bank. Katis says that several students have registered online but they have been turned away by the bank claiming that their reference numbers are wrong.
On Monday morning, John Mugabi, the Kyambogo University guild president reportedly held a meeting with the university leadership over the implementation of the fees structure but he was turned away.
Vincent Irama, the Regional Police Commander Kampala East says that they have deployed at the university to prevent students from turning violent. He says the students have been asked to write their grievances, which will be discussed by the university council on Tuesday.